Ensuring that Jacksonville citizens have access to the best thinking on global issues, our two signature speaker series examine critical current topics with guests who provide more “light than heat,” revealing the stories behind the headlines while delivering balanced perspectives and promoting thoughtful consideration and learning. Special Engagements provide an opportunity to showcase the international expertise of Council members, others in the community and speakers who become available outside of the regular evening and luncheon series. This flagship series features evening programs delivered by prominent speakers on a range of international issues, followed by an extended Q&A period. All events are co-hosted by and held at the University of North Florida. Premier level members and sponsors enjoy a private reception with the speaker prior to the program. Attendance ranges from 500 to 800 people. Designed specifically for the business community and co-hosted by the Gate Governors Club, this series of luncheon speakers is held at the River Club and offers invaluable insight into international political, economic, business and financial trends — information that is important to First Coast businesses as they make both short- and long-term development, staffing and investment decisions. At times, the Council has access to experts on international topics which have not been included in our signature speaker series. These Special Engagements feature Council members, others in the community and speakers who have expertise on current international issues. The emphasis here is on being an informed citizen of the world, which is key to advocating and influencing lawmakers and making the best decisions."The speakers brought in are top notch." It is tempting and comfortable to become isolated. This series reminds me that I am part of this world larger than my own backyard and community."